Bouncing Back After Relapse
Relapsing into a former drug and alcohol addiction is always unfortunate, but it does not mean that you should get discouraged or give up on sobriety. Instead, think of your relapse as one step in the addiction recovery process, a learning experience that will only make you stronger. Here are some steps to take after relapse to prevent a future slip-up.
It is normal to feel guilty after a relapse, but that doesn’t mean you should hide it. Refusing to acknowledge the experience or hiding it from your loved ones will only make the situation worse, and bottling-up guilt will only increase your chances of relapsing in the future. Talk to someone you trust about the experience, such as your mentor in your addiction recovery program. By talking about the relapse, you decrease your chances of relapsing in the future.
Do Some Introspective Thinking
The key to preventing another relapse is understanding the cause. Think about the situation, the circumstances, and the thoughts and feelings you had before you slipped up. Additionally, think about things you could have done differently. Perhaps you could have called a friend or mentor or utilized a coping mechanism you learned from your addiction recovery program. Think about how you will deal with a similar situation in the future.
Note Your Triggers
Many factors can trigger an urge to use drugs again, and you may have experienced several triggers before your relapse. Perhaps you were around people engaging in drug use or you had a stressful day at work. Regardless of the situation, it is important to note the triggers that led to your relapse. Raising awareness of your personal triggers improves your chances of succeeding with your addiction recovery.
Make a Plan for the Future
Not only should you take note of the circumstances that led to your relapse, but you should also think about the aspects of addiction recovery that were working for you before you slipped. Perhaps attending meetings and talking with your mentor was beneficial or perhaps reading literature about addiction recovery encouraged you. Now is the time to get back on your path to sobriety and make a plan for the future.